How to Locate Sprinkler Heads Fast- Effective Methods

We may need to know how to locate sprinkler heads in our lawn. Isn’t it?

Your garden, lawn, and irrigation field demand regular watering in some seasons, and you likely rely on your sprinkler system. So, we do not use it all year round. We use it when we need it.If you have a sprinkler system and want to start it again after a short or long time break, you may face some problems.

Because in-ground sprinkler systems don’t last forever; the parts are all too easy to damage with your mower, or may get cracked and worn over time. Signs that the sprinkler head needs replacing include low water pressure, frequent leaks, and a weak or non-existent spray.

So, to overcome these kinds of problems, you must locate your sprinkler heads and repair it. To locate sprinkler heads is not hard enough. Here we describe to you how to locate sprinkler heads perfectly. It’s relatively easy and straightforward if you follow the below instruction.

How to Locate Sprinkler Heads on Garden or Lawn Systems

After a long break, when you finally try to rerun your in-ground sprinkler system, you may notice that several sprinkler heads are not rising above the ground. In some instances, these heads can become so firmly stuck that it’s challenging to locate them.

Because a malfunctioning sprinkler head will cause dry, brown spots in your lawn, you must quickly identify and free the stuck heads. Luckily this task requires only minor instruction and a small investment of time.

Equipment needed

  • Measuring tape
  • Shovel
  • Metal detector
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Small flags

Steps to locate Sprinkler Heads on garden or lawn systems


You were just following the diagram that came with your sprinkler system. It will give you an idea of the underground pipe layout. The mainline should extend from your home and branch into smaller pipes, extending to valves and sprinkler heads.

By following the diagram starting from your home or with a visible sprinkler head, begin tracking the picture to find where a buried head might be.


After that, measure the distance between visible sprinkler heads with a measuring tape. Sprinkler heads will be spaced evenly in a set pattern across your landscape. Look for an unusually wide gap between otherwise evenly spaced heads. A buried sprinkler head may be sit midway between them.


Then turn on your sprinkler system. If it is functional, it will cause some buried sprinkler heads to pop up and spray water or if not all heads appear, look for pools of water across the landscape. These help you to indicate buried heads. Use a shovel to move the dirt from the area to find the buried head.


Use a metal detector to find buried sprinkler heads. Many valves have metal parts you can locate by running the metal detector over the ground’s surface. Valves are located directly under sprinkler heads.


Just look for large, dry, brown spots in your lawn. It can help you indicate the location of a buried sprinkler head.


Finally, turn off each sprinkler head in the zone where you think the buried sprinkler may be. By doing this, insert a flathead screwdriver into the divot on the top of the head and turn clockwise until you can turn no more. If there’s no divot, turn the head with your hand.

Then, turn the sprinkler system on. This will concentrate the water pressure to the missing head and could force it out of the ground.


  1. Test your metal detector on visible sprinkler heads first before you begin your search to make sure it can detect the traces of metal in the valves below.
  2. When measuring the distance between visible sprinkler heads, first insert a small, bright flag beside each one to mark their locations.

How to locate Sprinkler Heads on Irrigation Systems

An in-ground, permanent irrigation system can save you a good deal of time and effort and minimizes the need for unattractive hoses and sprinkler attachments scattered across the yard.

If you’ve just moved into a house and are unfamiliar with the location of sprinkler heads or cannot remember the exact design of a system, even if you installed it yourself, you may need to search for the sprinkler heads.

This is important to avoid damaging the system when performing routine lawn maintenance practices like core aeration and dethatching or planning more intensive landscape renovation.

Equipment Needed

  • Wire flag stakes or surveyor’s flags
  • Measuring tape
  • Metal garden rake
  • Metal detector (optional)

Steps to locate Sprinkler Heads on Irrigation Systems:


Flag any sprinklers that you can find or definitely know the location of with a particular color of wire flag stake.


Measure the distance between known sprinklers or rows of sprinklers and draw a diagram with these measurements. Drawing a diagram of the area that includes the positions of and spacing between known sprinkler heads may reveal a pattern.

Sprinklers in irrigation systems are typically not installed randomly and are placed so. The water is distributed uniformly.


Measure out and mark the suspected locations of any sprinkler heads based on your observations of the known sprinkler head locations. Use a different color flag than you used for the known sprinkler heads to mark these suspected sprinkler locations.


Turn on the irrigation system, if possible. If there are multiple parts of the system with separate valves, turn on the water to just one part of the system at a time. Walk around the area where you suspect the sprinkler heads are and look for water from a sprinkler head.

Listen for bubbling or gurgling, which typically indicates a hidden sprinkler head or leak. After leaving the system on for a while, the area around hidden or buried sprinkler heads will become develop puddles.


Pull a metal garden rake carefully over the grass area where you suspect sprinkler heads are located if you cannot turn the water on to the system. If the sprinkler heads are covered, you may need to apply higher pressure to the rake, which digs slightly into the soil.


  1. Try to cut the grass as low as possible without damaging the sprinkler heads, basing your mowing height on the height of the sprinkler heads you can find. It may help you find hidden sprinkler heads.
  2. Without supplying the system with water or suspect a break-in irrigation tubing. The most e way to find the hidden sprinkler heads to rent or borrow a metal detector.

After the winter and rainy season, when sprinkler heads are cover or hid under grass or mud, we can’t find it. Once a sprinkler is buried, we can’t repair or solve any problems with our sprinkler system so that we should know how to locate sprinkler heads.

By following the above steps, you can easily locate the sprinkler heads and solve the problems of your sprinkler system quickly.